India ranks third in world coal production, producing 407 million metric tons (mt) of coal in 2006. The majority of this production, approximately 85%, is used for thermal power generation. Electricity from coal currently accounts for 71 % of India’s total 67 gigawatts of power generated. Total power generation for coal is projected to increase to 161 gigawatts by 2030, with an associated projected increase in coal production to 750 mt. With a growing concern over energy security and sustainability, coupled with concerns about climate change and greenhouse gas emissions from coal combustion, the long term generation of coal-based thermal power by India will require the use of cleaner coal and clean coal technologies (CCT). Coal beneficiation (CB) is the first and most cost effective step toward satisfying this requirement. Indian coals are of poor quality and often contain 30-50 % ash when shipped to power stations. In addition, over time the calorific value and the ash content of thermal coals in India have deteriorated as the better quality coal reserves are depleted and surface mining and mechanization expand. This poses significant challenges. Transporting large amounts of ash-forming minerals wastes energy and creates shortages of rail cars and port facilities. A low-quality, high-ash coal also creates problems for power stations, including erosion in parts and materials, difficulty in pulverization, poor emissivity and flam

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